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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Update on the campaign hacking story

Just a quick update on the hacking into both McCain and Obama's computers, allegedly done by a "foreign entity" for the purpose of "gaining leverage in future dealings" with the next President.

On NPR this morning, they said it was China.

Picture of the Day - How can we miss her if she won't go away.....?

A picture of Governor Palin back in her office in Alaska on Friday morning by AP/Al Grillo. Balloons, a cake, a party, a "Welcome Back Governor banner?"

Working on the assumption that a news photographer doesn't get a picture inside the Governor's office without someone signing off, you have to view this image as very intentional.

This is the image her "campaign" wants out there to accompany all the articles. This image is part of the Palin pushback.

So, what's the message? I don't care that we lost? My critics can't hurt me? They still love me in Alaska? (among my staff!)

Still...a party image just two days after the loss feels very tacky. Then again, rehabbing your image before McCain's body is cold is pretty tacky to begin with.

(Also, She chose this image, not a somber, serious portrayal.)

It didn't take 6 months...... Russia

Joe Biden famously predicted that a new President Obama would be tested in his first 6 months. Well, the Russians don't appear to want to wait even 6 days. After their threat to drop short range missiles just across the border from Poland, Obama responds.
President-elect Barack Obama has told Polish President Lech Kaczynski he will go ahead with plans to build a missile defence shield in eastern Europe despite threats from Russia, Warsaw said on Saturday.

"Barack Obama has underlined the importance of the strategic partnership between Poland and the United States, he expressed his hope of continuing the political and military cooperation between our two countries.

"He also said the anti-missile shield project would go ahead," said a statement issued by Kaczynski after the two men spoke by telephone.

The NYTimes speaks of the Russian pressure on Obama more broadly, and the WaPo looks at the split in European opinions.

Update: The AP has a comment from an Obama aide saying Obama did not make a commitment on missile defense.

That thing I don't speak about

The U.S. Secret Service. The number of threats against Obama is kept confidential, but I'm reliably told it is huge.

In our continuing "Gingrich to take over the GOP" series....

Robert Novak's mash note in the WaPo,
In serious conversations among Republicans since their election debacle Tuesday, what name is mentioned most often as the Moses, or Reagan, who could lead them out of the wilderness before 40 years?

To the consternation of many Republicans, it is none other than Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House.

I still don't know if it will happen, or if he has to do it through proxies, but it's my sense that Gingrich is the inside bet right now.

Watch the next RNC chair that will be a big tell.

(Sorry to post so much on this, but when you call me wrong, and I think I'm right....)

On the other hand, Rasmussen has a poll of 1,000 rank and file Republicans that shows Sarah Palin with a commanding (64%) lead.

I guess it's a question of whether the insiders or the rank and file win.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Picture of the Day - 2

Is there anyone who could enjoy that whole VP ceremonial appearance circuit more than Joe Biden?

(Just be careful about letting him speak at the funerals.)

(Vice President-elect Joe Biden jokes with Delaware State Sen. Nancy Cook while participating in the Return Day parade, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008, in Georgetown, Del. (AP Photo/Rob Carr))

Quote: "Mutts like me......"

Thought: Obama can't even get a dog without a deliberate and methodical process.(Video)
"With respect to the dog, there are two criteria that have to be reconciled..."

(More thought than the Palin selection? )

Lieberman's great sin

Lieberman's great sin is not simply that he endorsed McCain. It's that he toured the country making appearances with Palin and McCain, standing on the stage with every local GOP candidate against his party. He didn't just endorse McCain, he repeatedly put himself in the position of supporting all Republicans.

And, now he's trying to dangle switching to the Repubs as his threat?
“Sen. Lieberman’s preference is to stay in the caucus, but he’s going to keep all his options open,” a Lieberman aide said. “McConnell has reached out to him, and at this stage, his position is he wants to remain in the caucus but losing the chairmanship is unacceptable.”

Maybe this characterization makes you feel a little better?
Lieberman groveled at a meeting with Democratic leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), begging to retain his lofty post, sources said.

Yes you're potentially giving up a vote, but there's also a political cost in keeping him. Every time he stands with the Republicans he gives them the claim of bipartisanship. That's as politically expensive in every tough fight as a vote.

(As another example, why is it that, after the historic Dem win, Joe Lieberman is the one burning up the spotlight that could be used on agenda?)

Let him go.

PS. The Republicans aren't offering him a committee chairmanship either, so if he chooses to flip, it's not for a better deal.

Later: What it sounds like Reid is going to do is let the Dem Senate Caucus vote on it. Talk about publicly ostracizing. (That vote will leak.)

Here's another Gingrich protege to watch.

Y'all blasted me the other day for suggesting that Newt Gingrich would end up pulling the strings in the GOP, but I'm sticking to my guns. Here's another Gingrich/GOPAC follower Michael Steele being floated to run the RNC.

Just something to watch.

Picture of the Day - 2

International reaction

The first wave of international reaction to Obama's victory was expectedly pleasant, congratulatory calls from world leaders and celebrations around the world, but now we get into the second wave of reaction, the global geopolitical readjustments as foreign governments try to sound out a new President and press their interests.

(FT) Russia threatens to place missiles adjacent to Poland to try and pressure Obama over missile defense.

(NYTimes) "President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran sent an unusual letter congratulating President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday...." (Trying to start dialogue.)

(NYTimes) Iraqi politics is shifting as the Iranians are less fearful Obama would attempt regime change.

(Reuters) "Israel said on Thursday U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's stated readiness to talk to Iran could be seen in the Middle East as a sign of weakness in efforts to persuade Tehran to curb its nuclear program."

(Reuters) Another US missile strike in Pakistan.

(AP) Petraeus favors trying to arm up Afghani militias and (AP) the Bush admin is likely to support increasing US troops there.

Welcome to the Presidency, Senator.

Picture of the Day

(Customers line up to look at firearms at a gun shop in Fort Worth, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008. The Cheaper Than Dirt gun store recorded a record day of gun sales the day after the election of President-elect Barack Obama and is having trouble keeping up with the demand for assault rifles.(AP Photo/LM Otero))

(I picked this photo for the kid.)

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Dear Barack,

I'm writing because.... well, you know you were emailing me a couple of times a day there for awhile and now, suddenly, today you haven't emailed at all and I just want to make sure everything's all right between us.....

Is it something I did? Did I do something wrong?
Just tell me.

I know you're really, really busy right now, and don't have time for this, but if you could please write back and let me know we're OK it would mean alot......


(Sorry. That's funny to me.)

Picture of the Day - 2

(President-elect Senator Barack Obama waves to the press as he leaves staff meetings in Chicago, November 6, 2008. (REUTERS/Jason Reed))

Campaigns hacked by "foreign entity"

Both the Obama and McCain computer systems were hacked at about the same time.
U.S. authorities, according to one of the sources, believe they know who the foreign entity responsible for the hacking is, but refused to identify it in any way, including what country.

The source, confirming the attacks that were first reported by Newsweek, said the sophisticated intrusions appeared aimed at gaining information about the evolution of policy positions in order to gain leverage in future dealings with whoever was elected.


Quote of the Day

An anonymous top Republican Congressional aide on the McCain campaign's slams about Palin,
"It looks like the McCain camp is about as effective at running a smear campaign as they were at running a presidential campaign."

My favorite memes

Two ideas I've seen bumping around today.

1) Obama as symbol. There's alot out there about the international reaction to Obama's election, and, for now, one of the recurring threads seems to be that it is reminding the world what they love of America. It's reminding the world that America's foundational ideals, both of opportunity and of renewal, still exist.

I don't know if it will stay that way, but it's definitely being seen as a "hearts and minds" story for now.

2) Karl Rove destroyed the Republican Party. In his 2000, and more notably 2004, campaigns, Karl Rove pushed the base plus strategy which aimed at maximizing GOP base voter turnout through the use of wedge issues that did turn out the base and win elections, but it also widened the gap between the base and many independent and moderate demographics.

Rove's strategy trapped the GOP in demographics that are stale or shrinking, while casting off to the Democrats most of the constituencies that are growing. (Notice that they weren't complaining when he was winning them elections.

And they can't blame Rove for losing Hispanics, that was all Congressional Republicans looking at 2006

(Not really sure I buy either of these completely, but I found them interesting starting points for thought.)

Harry Reid and Lieberman meet

One rumor is that Reid was talking about stripping Lieberman of his committee chairmanship.

MSNBC (Shuster) said that after the talk, Lieberman was given a couple days to "think it over." (What options were given?)

Later: Reid's statement, and Lieberman says, he needs a few days to ponder "the options that I have before me."

And, Lieberman left reporters with "the suggestion that the backlash resulting from his support of the Republican presidential candidate may be a couple of days off."

I think Howard Dean deserves a picture, don't you?

(Howard Dean speaks to a crowd in Crawford, Texas, Thursday, July 17, 2008, during his voter registration tour.(Waco Tribune Herald, Jerry Larson))

(Also a good one of Dean and Obama on the plane here.)


Laura Bush extended an invitation to Michelle, Sasha, and Malia to visit the White House. (The Bushes seem kinda happy that Obama won.)

(CNN) Newspapers fly off the racks after Obama victory.

(OregonLive) It looks like Jeff Merkley beat Gordon Smith for the Oregon Senate seat.

(N&O) Local paper says Obama likely won North Carolina.

And, (Politico) Appalachia still hates Obama.

My money's on Gingrich/Jindal to win the GOP civil war.

Here's my prediction. I believe Newt Gingrich will end up running the GOP after the "civil war."

Evangelicals like him. Low tax business folks like him, he's viewed as an "ideas man," and, to many GOPers, he harkens back to their "storming the gate" moment in 1994.

I don't know if he ever formally takes over, and I don't know who his RNC chair choice would be, but I would bet Gingrich ends up with the most influence.

Probably the surest tell is to watch the fortunes of La. Governor Bobby Jindal, his favorite current acolyte, who he desperately tried to push on the McCain campaign as a VP selection.

(I would say Romney as the other likely, but I'm not exactly sure who his power base/backers are. (And it looks like Palin is done.))

A stupid little thing, but "yay!"

Michelle Obama has said that the Obamas would adopt their dog rather than purchase one from a breeder or pet store.

(The Caucus blog has more on the dog choice.)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Writing the first histories of the Obama campaign

The NYTimes' Zeleny makes a pretty good first go at telling the history of the Obama campaign.

Also, CNN has a video montage of the campaign.

McCain aides SHREDDING Palin (On FoxNews)

McCain aides want to make sure that Palin doesn't leave this campaign walking upright. Unbelievable. Watch this.

(Note the inclusion that "there will be an avalanche" and "several more days of this." Wow.)

Also, CNN reports that Palin supporter and Neocon Randy Scheunemann was fired from the McCain campaign last week for "spreading "disinformation" about campaign aides, including Nicolle Wallace and other officials." (NYTimes says he wasn't fired, but CNN says his email and blackberry were seized.)

(And don't miss the Newsweek "Wasilla hillbillies" leak earlier.)

Can you imagine if they had won?

Here's one for you......

Harry Reid is scheduled to have a "closed door" meeting with Joe Lieberman tomorrow. (Details as they leak.)

Feel good. Condi Rice's statement on Obama's election.

Giuliani schadenfreude

There are rumors he’s mulling a gubernatorial run, but his national reputation has taken a major hit, and his once-thriving consulting business is said to be in trouble.

Dear Republican pundits.....

Your team lost. Your party is in the minority. You don't get any say over who gets appointed anywhere.

Yours in gleeful incivility,

Rahm is in

I'm quite happy at the news that Rahm Emanuel has signed on as Chief of Staff. He's young, smart, incredibly hard working, willing to play hard ball, and knows his way around Washington.

: NBC says Emanuel's office deny he's accepted.

(Also: Apparently, John Kerry is openly lobbying for Sec State.
I could be wrong, but I don't think that's how this crew works.)

Picture of the Day - 3

I still haven't really grasped the history of this yet, but it's starting to sink in.

(Left - Christine King Farris, sister of civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., is embraced by her granddaughter Farris Watkins.

Below - Celebrations at Howard University.)

Sy Hersh says they're waiting in the wings to rat out the Bush admin.

'You cannot believe how many people have told me to call them on 20 January [the date of the next president's inauguration],' he says, with relish. '[They say:] "You wanna know about abuses and violations? Call me then."

Profiles in courage, eh?

McCain campaign aides SLAM Palin over shopping spree

Check out this hardcore "the morning after the election" character slam against Palin's "shopping spree." (Halfway down the page.)
"One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family -- clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill."

"Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent 'tens of thousands' more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books."

Also this bit, she wanted her own concession speech.
McCain himself rarely spoke to Palin during the campaign, and aides kept him in the dark about the details of her spending on clothes because they were sure he would be offended. Palin asked to speak along with McCain at his Arizona concession speech Tuesday night, but campaign strategist Steve Schmidt vetoed the request.

McCain aides are dumping all this into the Newsweek campaign history to very intentionally damage her and cast Palin as a "diva." (Not that there are any hard feelings. Did they leak this with an embargo, or did they wake up this morning and decide to trash her while they were still on the stage.)

And, FirstRead quotes a little polling saying that only 18% of the GOP want Palin as the 2012 nominee. (A distant third.)

I know this is the Dems' day, but the civil war has begun.


Justice Stevens can finally step down, the poor guy.


Provided the number stands, the turnout rate for yesterday's election was the highest in 100 years.

Picture of the Day - 2

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)


Obama wasn't lying last night when he called David Plouffe the hero of his campaign. Plouffe was the one responsible for matching assets to the map, sending money, volunteers wherever it was needed down to the precinct level to make the numbers work.

Obama doesn't win the primaries without Plouffe. Obama doesn't win Virginia or Florida or probably Ohio without Plouffe. Plouffe was in charge of targeting door knocks, volunteers, phone calls, money, counties, states..... Plouffe ran that ground operation. Plouffe was the "big map."

Plouffe was the numbers man working probably the most tech internal campaign in history. He's the first to use statistics and databases in a really modern way. We've never seen anything like this before.

Trust me. He and his team really were the heroes of the campaign.

(And we wish him well on the birth of his first child, but I do hope he goes to Washington.)

Stream of Consciousness

It's still all kinda sinking in, so I'm just blogging stream of consciousness this morning.

It'll probably take awhile until I fully get to the historic "electing a black man president" part.

I'm still in "campaign mode."

On staffing the new administration

The spin/vibe that the Obama folks were putting out last night was that the new administration would likely have few Clinton "old hands" in key spots.

We'll certainly have to wait and see, but that wouldn't at all surprise me. All of Obama's moves since Biden appear to be "governing" moves, and, although alot of the Clinton folks were pretty good, all indications are that he doesn't want a White House of many power bases.

My guess is that he wants a White House that looks like his campaign, closed, tight, and brilliant.

We'll see if he can pull that off.

(PS. If it matters, I'm pro-Rahm.)


You know, I'm not a big believer that last night's election marks some great watershed realignment, that Democrats will now be in power forever and ever, etc, etc.

In two or four years, the economy will get better, we'll be mostly out of Iraq, George Bush will be gone, and people will begin to forget..... and with time, as things get better, people will once again become susceptible to demagoguery on gay marriage, immigration, or whatever.

However, four key things.

1) The Dems will be working from a huge advantage in numbers. (If they lost 20 House seats in 2010 or 2012, they would still hold a huge majority, and the next round of Senate elections are Senators from 2004, a good Republican year.)

2) Nationally, the Dems will have the power of incumbency creating that institutional drag against change. (fundraising, name ID, patronage, etc.)

3) If Dems can hold onto their advantages in Governorships and State Houses through 2010, they are then in charge of redrawing all the state Congressional maps which, as we saw here in Texas, can net substantial House seats.

4) There is an argument for a "new electorate" (although I think it's probably a bit overstated this morning.) However, if that youth vote stays active and stays Dem, which history says it likely will, that will be an electoral force in the decades to come. (Not to mention the increasing Hispanic and African American numbers relative to the overall population.)

Just kinda thinking out loud....

Too much

There's just too much. I don't know where to start.

(But I am spontaneously breaking into smiles.)

A thought for the losers

If the exit polls are to be believed, it could be argued that the Sarah Palin choice cost John McCain a shot at the Presidency.

(Oh, and the GOP civil war starts today. There are a couple of key gatherings scheduled this week. Out of curiosity, who is the leader of the GOP now? Mitch McConnell? Huckabee, Romney, Palin? Dobson....?)

Picture of the Day

(Supporters of President-elect Obama Barack Obama cry and hold one another after the Obama's speech at the election night party at Grant Park in Chicago, Tuesday night, Nov. 4, 2008. (AP/David Guttenfelder))

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

AP headline

AP Headline: "Obama becomes first black president in landslide"

Picture of the Day - 10

I guess I can finally put this picture up......

(After an August 14, 2006 Townhall in Metropolis, Illinois.)


What's the world reaction going to be?


I'm really enjoying watching Bill Bennett get increasingly despondent.

(Think he had a bet on it?)


I hope the McCain campaign had the foresight to offer an open bar.

O-V-E-R. Over.

Ohio gets called for Obama.

MSNBC calls Pennsylvania and Hew Hampshire!!!!!

About three inches from over.


Notice that all the people on my TV who are privy to the exit polls are saying things like "wave," "transformational election," and "repudiation of the Republican party."

That should tell you something.

Blogging sporadically

Uneven at my computer tonight. As we transition from speculation to results, I'll probably be watching more TV.

Good luck, everybody.

Body Language

Steve Schmidt's last statement on the plane doesn't sound like a campaign expecting to win.
And he's going to cross the finish line head up, running all the way. We will see results here in a few hours. . . . It's the only way to finish anything that you do in life, that's a competitive venture, which is full speed. . . . We did our absolute best in this campaign in really difficult circumstances.....

Early bits

Norah O'Donnell just reported a GOP strategist calling black turnout in NC huge, used the phrase "Obama Tsunami."

TPM says Indiana looking good.

And Virginia.

Early exit polls

View at your own potential soul crushing risk, but some alleged state by state early exit polls here.

(Caveat: In 2004 what happened was the raw, unadjusted poll data got leaked which substantially over represented Dems. As for this data, who knows? So, beware.)

Picture of the Day - 9

(Charlotte Levy, a campaign volunteer for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, displays an image of Obama on her cheek on election day in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke))


CNN has the deepest real time raw data site, down to county. President, Senate, House.

Picture of the Day - 8

(Mary Beth Goring gets a pat on the shoulder from another voter as she is overcome with emotion while voting at the Beauty Market hair supply shop in Inglewood, California. Goring said she never thought the day would come where she could vote for a black president and she became more emotional than she thought she would while placing her vote.(Danny Moloshok/Reuters))


If you're wondering, no pictures of candidates until the polls close.

Election day is about the people.

Picture of the Day - 7

(Sylvia Visconti, 92, walks away from the voting machine at Epiphany Elementary School in Cliffside Park, N.J., Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008.(AP Photo/Mike Derer))


"George Bush doesn't care about black people."

Picture of the Day - 6

(Voter Steve Daniels after voting in Washington, DC, November 4, 2008. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts))

Sarah Palin knows

A rather dour post-voting interview in Alaska, and Palin discusses her political future after this race without so much as a polite pause for McCain.

Picture of the Day - 5

(Lonn Pressnall, dressed Abraham Lincoln, waits to cast his vote on election day in Forsyth, Ill., Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. Forsyth is in Macon county where Abraham Lincoln practiced law. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman))


We know the battle ahead will be long. But always remember that, no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

Do you know what time it is?

(A supporter wears a watch for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama in Manassas, Va. Monday, Nov. 3, 2008.(AP/Alex Brandon))

I'm gonna go change the world...

Be back in an hour.

Picture of the Day - 3

(Voter Marzell Seawood, 86, of Deerfield Beach waits in line to cast her ballot in the U.S. general election in Deerfield Beach, Florida November 4, 2008. (REUTERS/Joe Skipper))


An interesting NYTimes piece on all the ways the Obama campaign has broken history in the mechanics of campaigning.

(CBS) Some temp workers hired by the McCain campaign in Wisconsin are complaining. (More paid canvassers!)

(Politico) Obama drew 90,000 in Manassas, Va. last night.

(YouTube) If you haven't seen it, Obama's stump statement on his grandmother's passing is touching.

(Politico) Obama's grandmother's vote will count.

(Politico) No matter how it breaks, Rahm Emanuel is likely on his way up. Obama's Chief of Staff, Illinois Senator, Speaker of the House....

(CNN) Voting machine problems already in Richmond, Va.

Rove projects an Obama win. (Must kill him to see Oh and Fla blue.)

(I don't know what today will look like on the blogging front, probably lots of pictures, but, understand, my priority is to enjoy the hell out of this day.)

Picture of the Day - 2

(Campaign volunteers work on a "Vote for Change" sign in Manassas, Virgina.(AFP/Paul J. Richards))


If you look at that last little polling blip, it looks like Obama's prime time buy worked.

Picture of the Day - Reaching absurdity in Roswell

(Gaylan Young holds an inflatable alien at a campaign rally with Senator John McCain in Roswell, New Mexico November 3, 2008. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder))

Monday, November 03, 2008

It has begun

By the time you read this, they're probably already voting in Dixville Notch, NH.

Palin on SNL tonight

I know I shouldn't be bashing Sarah Palin since she's going to disappear tomorrow, but I just saw Palin's little cameo on the SNL thing tonight and, oh my god was it creepy.

Remember, this is supposed to be comedy.

Picture of the Day - 3

(Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama holds hands and pray before the start of a rally in Cleveland, Ohio, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder))

Observation - National polling

There's not one national poll showing McCain within 5 on the national numbers.

With an IBD/TIPP exception, Obama polls 50+ in all 14 of them.

The McCain campaign says don't believe your eyes.

The McCain campaign blasts out a memo through Drudge and others trying to dampen any early reads from the exit polls.

They're also trying to persuade the media not to call individual states based on exit polls. (Right.)

If that doesn't tell you what they expect those polls to say...

Ambinder snarks with a fake McCain memo title: "Final Vote Tally Will Overstate Obama's Support."

Picture of the Day - 2 (The final day gets off to a rough start)

(From a sparsely attended rally in Tampa this morning. AP/Chris O'Meara)

Later: Add this from CNN.
Republican Gov. Crist, who had previously agreed to do interviews with CNN and various local affiliates, bolted right after the rally with no explanation.


You gotta figure the fact that there's nothing worth blogging today favors Obama.

I believe in the machine

The ground game will certainly be different from state to state, but based on the enthusiasm numbers alone, I find it impossible to believe that the McCain folks will turnout better than the Obama folks, especially with the sense of inevitability creeping in.

I think the Obama turnout will keep the results at the polling levels or above varying somewhat by state. (People want to vote for Obama.)

And, for some reason I can't explain, I have a feeling that women will turn out slightly higher than normal. Hispanics, too.

Picture of the Day

This is one of my favorite Obama pictures. It's from "backstage" in Springfield, Illinois right before he went out to declare his candidacy for President of the United States, Feb 10, 2007.
(Callie Shell/Time)

(Much bigger if you click it.)

Predictions post -

This is for fun, don't kill yourself. Feel free to skip categories you don't want to do. The point of this is to have fun, and start discussion. There are no prizes or penalties, and nobody makes fun of anybody or they're deleted. (And, if you just want to talk s**t, this is a good place, too.)

1) Presidential winner. Popular vote. Electoral College. (Individual states if you want to go that deep.)

(Obama, 53.5% - 45.5%, EV 364-174. He wins Oh, Fla, Va, Nv, Colo, NM. +North Carolina and either Indiana or Missouri.)

2) Congressional pickups. (+27)

3) Senate pickups. (+7, with Georgia going to runoff.)

4) The state(s) you think will be a surprise (either way.)
(I'm really hoping Georgia might flip, just for shock.)

5) Turnout. (And any demographic subgroups.)
(High, 140+ million. I think women will vote heavier than expected, and Hispanics. Youth vote will be up.)

6) Any other surprises?

7) What time is the race called? (8:40 PM EST.)

8) Stupid media stuff: Personality X says whatever. How long until the conservative pundits start complimenting the Obama campaign? What makes Bill Bennett cry?

And, What local or national race do you really care about?
(I really want to see my local House race go Skelly, although he's down -8. I'd also like to see Michelle Bachman lose.)


You gotta go read Doonesbury today.

Where the race changed - It's not the economy, stupid.

To me, it wasn't the economic meltdown that cost McCain, although that did serve to change the focus on the candidates to a much more serious tone.

To me, McCain gave the race away in the two weeks of the debates. His response to the bailout bill ("the suspension") looked chaotic and panicked. The debates served to make Obama look more stable, more reasoned, and more in touch. And, it was also during those two weeks that Sarah Palin really blew up, reinforcing questions about McCain's judgment.

That two week period made McCain seem "erratic" at the very time that Americans were suddenly craving stability and seriousness. It was during that period that the polls opened up, and they've never really moved back since then.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Picture of the Day - 4

(From the giant rally in Cleveland tonight. (AP/Alex Brandon))

Different states, different gaps in the ground game

One of the more interesting elements in the head to head ground game is that the McCain campaign has left large portions of its ground effort to state parties.

In some past battlegrounds like Ohio and Florida, the framework and volunteers were more or less still in place from 2004 so the gap in ground game may not be as great, but when it comes to the newer "big map" states, Virginia, North Dakota, Indiana, Colorado, or Georgia as examples, the local GOP doesn't have that 2004 framework to fall back on. Because no one spent the time to build top level voter lists and databases in these states, I would guess the gap in ground game might be more noticeable there.


The Dems held their convention in Colorado in the hopes that it would help them win Colorado. The Repubs held their convention in Minnesota in hopes that it would help them win Minnesota.

Picture of the Day - 3

(A huge crowd in Pueblo, Colo. yesterday. (AP/Alex Brandon))

Early voting - Huge (Reposted)

If you take a quick peruse of some of the early voting stats some of them are jawdropping, like Colorado, "In Colorado, 46 percent of the electorate (registered voters) has already voted."

Frankly, in most of the key states, Dem early voting outweighs Repub early voting (sometimes substantially,) but I thought I'd offer two caveats before you start doing your happy dance.

1) When you see a poll citing early voting breakdowns favoring Obama, like this CBS poll tonight, be a bit cautious. The overall sample is only 1,000, so the early voting subset of the poll is likely 200-300, hardly an adequate size to provide bankable data.

On the other hand, when you see early vote TOTALS broken down by party, that's probably pretty reliable, like this from Fla,
This year, early voting numbers are even higher - 46.9% of the total 2004 vote - and Dems exceed Republicans; 45.6% of early voters are Dems, 37.8% are Republicans.

2) It's not yet clear whether these huge early voter numbers presage a concomitant increase in overall turnout, or whether they are just enthusiastic Obama voters displacing their election day turnout to early voting. (My hunch is that it is a bit of both.)

That being said, you'd much rather have the problem of worrying about what your early voting lead means than knowing you're not in the lead, you know?

Also: The "bible" of early voting stats is Michael McDonald at GMU. He is tallying the Secretary of State supplied early voting numbers from all 50 states. Best raw data out there.

One of the most interesting stats on his page is the percent of 2004 voters who have voted early this time. (North Carolina 66%, NM 61%, Nevada 65+%, Georgia 60%, Florida 46%, Colorado 68%.) It's mindblowing.

Picture of the Day - 2

(A supporter cries as Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama speaks at a rally at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon))

Quote - McCain's path to winning

To win on Tuesday, analysts and polls suggest, the Republican nominee must win nearly all the remaining undecided voters in key swing states and peel a large chunk of "soft" supporters from Democratic rival Barack Obama. Then he must hope that his supporters vote in overwhelming numbers, and that more Obama supporters than expected stay home.


John McCain can only pull 2,000 people in Philly suburbs?

Picture of the Day

(A huge crowd in Columbus, Ohio today. (AP/Jae C. Hong))

Do fundies believe in Halloween?

I know it's one of those little things, but I was very surprised that the younger Palin kids got to go trick or treating (in Pennsylvania.)

Down here in Texas, there's a whole fundie movement against Halloween (because it's seen as Satanic.)

Maybe that's why I couldn't find a picture. I really tried.


Thousands more — maybe as many as a million people, Mayor Richard M. Daley has proudly suggested — are expected to pile into the downtown parkland and sidewalks and streets surrounding Mr. Obama’s official celebration.